Tidbits of Treasure
It was the third Sunday of Easter and our church’s first weekend of the First Communion celebrations for the second graders. I found myself, joy filled for the new members coming to gain further acceptance and knowledge of Jesus, who he is as their Saviour and discovering how His love ransomed their souls. In my mind, this was an exciting time, a time where they were receiving the key to survival in this world; hope and trust in One greater than all. It is this truth I instilled in my own daughter, who also received her first communion the following Sunday.
As I silently prayed for each one of the children, I took in how beautiful the little girls looked in their white dresses and the boys in their suits. Preparing for months, these children were now ready to come before the assembly, declare their belief and to accept Jesus as their bread of life. I wondered if they really knew how special this gift was and essential to their eternal future? Would these children be brought back to church by those who were asked to attend weekly, once this weekend was over? Did they know how much Jesus loved each precious little one standing there before the Priest? Did they understand how much Jesus loved them?
Even the disciples did not understand this love, as they rebuked those who brought their little children to Jesus, hoping for a blessing or healing from him. Jesus sternly corrected them however, as he opened his arms to receive them; “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14 NIV)
Wow! Can you imagine what it must have been like to hear Jesus say publicly, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to you,?” A child! To hear the greatest Man that ever walked the earth, tell you that you are fully acceptable to him and given a place in his home. Maybe we don’t get to hear the words directly from him, but they are no less true for us then they were for the little one’s in the gospel. They are the precursor to the truth that, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
This day of communion is our public declaration that we believe Christ suffered, died, and was buried, and on the third day, rose again. He is seated at the right hand of the Father and is our High Priest who advocates on our behalf, before the Father. It is the admittance, that with his body and blood poured out for us, we have been forgiven of our sins, and made holy and righteous in Jesus and can stand in His presence, before the Lord.
The blessing we have as believers, brings comfort to our daily lives; through our struggles believing that we will experience and know God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2) This is the time, when childlike faith responds by obeying and trusting the One who leads us with great love and compassion. It is the moment when we can learn that we do not have to be perfect, mistakes are allowed and on confession of our sins, we will be forgiven. It removes the pressure of having to be perfect — which is huge! Nothing steals a person’s joy faster than worry and anxiety over making a mistake. Therefore, we are instructed to be anxious about nothing, but through prayer and petition and with a thankful heart, we are to come with our requests before God. We are to turn away from our sin, and turn towards the instructions God has given to us, his children. We may not always like the answers we receive to our prayers, but like any loving parent, we can trust that God has our best interests in mind.
As our children take this next step in their journey, let us remember, that they depend on us, to be the example of what a child of God behaves like. They need to see that spending time with God, is not a chore or a job on our “To Do List”, but an opportunity to grow in him. We need to show them that we trust Him, and are confident that He will be our Shield in times of trouble and our Refuge when we need shelter from the storms of life. It is up to us show them how we turn our troubles over to him and to display how we patiently wait in childlike faith for the answers to come. It is our responsibility to teach our children the ways of God and show them the rewards that come from an obedient walk with Him. Don’t let Easter and receiving communion be the last time you bring your child to church, because, you believe your duties have been fulfilled, instead, look at it as the beginning to a long adventure in a glorious unfolding.
What a privilege it is to be called your child. Much peace comes in knowing you are our Rock and our Refuge, our Hope and our Joy. I pray Father, that as your children come to your table, we as parents, will keep in mind our promise to teach them how to love and obey. Let our feast with you, remind us weekly how much you love us and how blessed we are to call you Father. When we say Amen to the Body and Blood of Christ we are indeed rejoicing in our salvation.
- Matthew 26:26-28, Philippians 4-6, John 16:33, 14:26-27, Matthew 11:28-30